the calm after the storm

October 7, 2016

So Hurricane Matthew is essentially over for our area — and it wasn’t bad at all.  We were lucky.  I know it may be much more severe for those to the north (Fl coast, Carolinas) — for anyone in those areas reading this, I hope it passes through quickly and uneventfully!

Thus far, we still have power — so grateful.  It’s still quite breezy outside, but nothing crazy.  I am even considering a run outside once it is light out.  Last night got quite windy, but I am very happy about how secure our house felt (we have hurricane windows & doors, so  theoretically that should have been expected, but I didn’t know!).

Schools however are still closed, as they made that decree on Wednesday.  I guess they didn’t want anyone driving in potentially dangerous conditions this morning, though perhaps they are regretting it now.  Thus, A&C have no school.  Our nanny may or may not come in (I am sort of hoping yes though!).  And I have no work, because our office decided to close when the schools decided to close and all patients were already moved.  This sounds great, but a) it’s forced vacation (i.e. losing precious vacay days!)  and b) I am totally stressed about where all of these cancelled patients are going to go!  It’s going to be a very busy rest of October, I think.  I was supposed to be off next Weds (Yom Kippur) but I think I’m going to have to work to get everyone in.  At least we had a lovely family Rosh Hashanah.

Some things going on:

1) Headspace!  I am so into it.  I’m up to day 19 and have not missed a day since starting.  I love the progression of these 10 minute meditations.  I ended up signing up for full membership (yearly) and I really believe it will be worthwhile for me.

2) Reading.  Well, I am now ~20% through Here I Am.  I really like it a lot so far.  It is amazing how having a book that is really interesting to me draws me to actually read it rather than picking up my phone . . .

3) Running.  I am sticking to my half marathon pre-training schedule but honestly I am frustrated by how SLOWLY I am running lately.  I looked back to last year (because I wanted to blame the heat!) and it wasn’t nearly so bad.  I can’t figure out what has changed!  Could one year of aging make a big difference!?  Or like, 2-3 lbs!?  My heart rate approaches 190 with even >10:00/mi runs these days.  To the point where I actually wonder if something is wrong with me.  Post-viral stuff lingering for weeks?   I don’t know if I’ve ever had a plateau (or really . . . decline) so pronounced without a clear reason.  I’m running ~20 miles/week which isn’t a ton but should be enough to give me at least a modest base.  I’m also doing twice weekly barre workouts for some strength.  I will say that I have not true long runs in a long time.

Last week’s training log:
(for accountability & illustrative purposes)
M 4.4 miles average 10:19/mi.  79F.  Max HR was at 187 with much of the last mile over 180.
T rest
W 5.5 miles average 9:59/mi.  73F.  Included 3 miles “tempo” at 9:03 – 9:14/mi.  Heart rate hit 198 during the tempo portion.
R barre3 40 minutes
F 5 mi 10:00/mi.  81F.  HR over 180 for last half of run, up into 190s for significant portions of time.
S barre3 30 minutes
S skipped (oops)

Total = 15 miles + 2x barre3

If any runners have suggestions, I will take them!  I would like to get back to my usual ~9:00/mi “regular run” pace and high 7s-mid 8s for tempo.

4) Kids + Sleep.  A still just seems . . . not tired at 8 pm.  We are trying to get her to stay in her room and play — she now even has a desk with a little lamp so she can do legos, read, draw.  It is not really working; she is happy to play but wants one of us there too.  I think maybe I will try instituting reading time (for me) in her room while she winds herself down.  That way everyone wins.  I am also eating earlier so that I’m not waiting for her to go to bed to have dinner.  That got waaaay too frustrating lately.


Recent pix:

Posing with OFF on Monday.  Sad but true commentary on our Zika situation.

On the upside, no one got bitten during soccer!  Was so much fun to watch C in action since I don’t usually get to see his class (I was off Monday for Rosh Hashanah)

Super into very meticulous coloring lately

Attempt at “Level 10” style list.  This did not really work, I feel like I just ranked everything the same!

This sort of failed too – I tried to make activity cards for A to do yesterday.  She didn’t really like being told what to do 🙂


  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Glad the storm passed you uneventfully. We are in it right now and have just had gusty wind and light rain. Lots of little branches down but nothing big. We are forecast for mega rain mid-morning, though. Hoping the power stays on. We had yesterday and today off and my group run is cancelled for tomorrow in case there is a lot of debris on the road. If there’s not, I’ll probably head out on my own.

    That’s weird about the running paces. I know my speed takes a hit when it’s really hot, but the only time I’ve had my heart rate go way up at what is normally an easy pace is if 1. I had an infection or 2. I was pregnant. That’s actually how I figured out I was pregnant with baby #2. I was doing what was supposed to be a very easy run before a 10k and it felt like a full sprint!

  • Reply Ali March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I have no suggestions, but have had the same issue running over the past year. Despite running more regularly than I was in the past, my paces have slowed for the same perceived rate of exertion. (I don’t wear a HR monitor.). I have been chalking it up to age (I’m 35). As I remind myself–I’m doing better than the average person just by running regularly at 35 regardless of my pace! 😀

  • Reply Alyssa March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Hey Sarah! I wonder about (a) hydration (b) iron and (c) cumulative fatigue. Of course you know how issues with each of those could cause a disproportionate rise in HR for the exercise you’re doing. All that said, I think the money for improved efficiency with running is in short tempos (where you have to suffer at at high HR) and weekly long runs that are nice and slow. Hope that helps!!

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    That is weird about the heart rate—I was thinking the same as Chelsea, glad you checked 🙂 How long has it been going on? Lingering sickness may be it—I was getting REALLY winded doing my regular workouts for a few WEEKS after being sick and I finally feel I’m back to my performance level. Did anything change in your diet? Are you not drinking enough water? Meh, its probably your thyroid.

  • Reply Tyra March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Do you actually feel like your perceived effort matched up with your HR monitor? And how old is your monitor? Is there a chance that maybe the numbers that you are seeing are inaccurate?

    Definitely see what happens once you start doing a decent long run each week. I really think that’s the most important part of running fitness for racing any distance from 5km plus!

  • Reply Sara March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve stopped looking at my HR monitor when it’s warm. I like the idea of it – to help me adjust to the heat and improve my pacing in it, but I find that it doesn’t really help me and I just get anxious about it because my HR is also super high then. If I try to keep my perceived effort at my slow-mod, I’ll run 30sec/mi faster than if I look at it. I don’t think it’s really started to get better in FL yet though. Last week still felt rough most of the time.

  • Reply Omdg March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    My heart rate won’t even go to 190. When my athletic performance flags it’s usually because I am tired or under hydrated. This is the main reason I don’t like working out in the mornings. 😝

    Aside from ruling out the health issues already listed by others above, I have found doing dedicated interval training really helpful in the past for getting my speed to the next level. It usually feels horrible the first 1-2 times I do it, but after 2 weeks or so I really notice a difference. I reject the idea that you’re getting old, though. No way!

  • Reply HR crazy March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Long time reader who rarely comments…

    But I’ve been experiencing the same HR issue for a couple months. I’ve cut back on workouts, total mileage and tried complete rest. The issue did not resolve. It’s incredibly frustrating as it was not an issue earlier this summer.

    Did you notice a change from earlier this year? Keep us posted if you find an explanation.

  • Reply KJo March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I would definitely have your Iron levels checked. I had something very similar happen a couple years ago where my pace and breathing fell apart running and I ran a marathon 30+ minutes slower than my normal pace which was frustrating, it turned out my ferritin had fallen dangerously low. The same thing has happened than more than a few friends in my running group.

    I saw in the comments above that you have an IUD, I’m not sure which type you have, but my issues popped up after several months with a copper IUD and the associated heavier periods (obv. this is correlation but it was the only thing that had changed from prior training…). After a year+ of regular iron supplementation, I’m feeling great and running is no longer discouraging.

    Also, maybe low iron could also be a compounding factor in the increase in viruses you mentioned coming down with. Sorry, I’m not a doctor and I know you are, but I spent a year with more colds than I’d ever had {and no kids to bring in any extra germs to the house :)} and lacklustre running and now that my iron stores are back up I can run faster and have a functioning immune system again 🙂

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